Richard I

John Gillingham

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December 11, 1999
392 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
22 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300079128
Cloth

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Neither a feckless knight-errant nor a king who neglected his kingdom, Richard I was in reality a masterful and businesslike ruler. In this wholly rewritten version of a classic account of the reign of Richard The Lionheart, John Gillingham scrutinizes the reasons for the King’s fluctuating reputation over successive centuries and provides a convincing new interpretation of the significance of the reign. This edition includes a complete annotation and expanded bibliography.

John Gillingham was formerly professor of medieval history at the London School of Economics.

"[A] strongly revisionist and persuasive biography of Richard I. . . . Medieval political history at its best."—Scott L. Waugh, Albion

"In John Gillingham, Richard I has found his most able biographer. This is a tremendous book and a great read compellingly written." —S.D. Church, English Historical Review

"There is enough violence and intrigue to appeal to any reader; one wonders why Richard’s life has not been made into a movie. The book should appeal to any reader, and its mastery will be obligatory for any serious student of the period. . . . A splendid book."—Fred A. Cazel Jr., History: Reviews of New Book

"John Gillingham’s revisionist biography of Richard the Lionheart . . . is a brilliant history of a hero’s life. One hopes his interpretation finds its way into Western civilization text books, those whited sarcophagi of the profession."—Journal of British Studies

"This absorbing and well-written biography . . . gives us a brand-new Richard, not feckless but astute, not romantic but businesslike, and wholly engrossed in his business: amassing power. Starting afresh, Mr. Gillingham makes not only Richard, but also his redoubtable parents, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, more plausible. His Richard, though not what we would call a good man, is an extremely impressive ruler."—New Yorker

"It is this latest version that deserves to be regarded as definitive, and which will surely find its way on to the shelves of every student of the period. As befits the magnificence of his subject, Gillingham is a truly great historian."—Nicholas Vincent, Times Literary Supplement

The English Monarchs Series
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